How we got so lucky, we don’t know!!  We just love our couples, and Cathy and Rob are no exception!  Laid back, sweet, stylish and so adorably in love with each other, these two are getting married this Fall at the Powel Crosley Estate in Sarasota.  (One of our favorite places!!)  After TWO reschedules due to rain, we started their windy engagement session in downtown Tampa at Curtis Hixon Park, then wrapped up on Davis Island, just in time for the sunset.   It couldn’t have been more perfect!

CONGRATS, Cathy & Rob!!  We can’t wait for your wedding in just a couple short months!!  :)

Engagement photos in downtown Tampa at Curtis Hixon park by Blue Lane StudiosEngagement photos at Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa by Blue Lane StudiosEngagement session holding hands and showing off ring Fun engagement photos in Tampa by Blue Lane Studios, different heights engagement sessionTampa engagement photography by Blue Lane Studios, Curtis Hixon Park engagement session Tampa Riverwalk engagement photos by Blue Lane Studios in Tampa, Florida, blue high heels with jeans Portrait closeup during engagement photo session in Tampa, Florida, by Blue Lane Studios Tampa engagement photos on Davis Island by Blue Lane Studios Black and white engagement photo on Davis Island by Blue Lane Studios.  Flowing floral dress and wedge shoes is perfect for their casual look. Beautiful, stylish and relaxed engagement photos in Tampa, Florida by Blue Lane Studios Fun and relaxed engagement photos in Tampa, Florida by Blue Lane StudiosRelaxed and stylish engagement photography in Tampa, FloridaBlack and white, stylish, sexy, editorial style engagement photos in Tampa, Florida by Blue Lane Studios. Sunset engagement photo on Davis Island, engagement session with boats, romantic Tampa engagement session by Blue Lane Studios

 

P.S.  Shout out to Anna Dutko of Style Hair and Makeup for Cathy’s gorgeous styling!!  Even through all the heat, humidity and wind she looked amazing!! :)

Lindsay and Brian came down from Washington, D.C.  for their destination beach wedding at the Don CeSar this spring…and what a beautiful and perfect day it turned out to be!  With their closest friends and family in attendance, their wedding day was full of laughter and sweet moments that we were so happy to be a part of.  Congratulations, Brian & Lindsay!!  Wishing you a lifetime of happiness and joy together!!

Nicole Miller wedding dress and Jimmy Choo wedding shoes at the Don CeSar resort in St Pete Beach, Florida. Photo by Blue Lane Studios based in Tampa, Florida Bride wearing Nicole Miller wedding dress with jeweled belt and long veil. Wedding at the Don CeSar hotel in St Pete Beach, Florida. Bride wearing Nicole Miller wedding dress with long veil. Bouquet by FH Weddings in Tampa Florida. Photography by Blue Lane Studios in Tampa Florida. Hair and makeup by Beverly of Spa Oceana at the Don CeSar. Groom wearing Calvin Klein suit, wedding at the Don CeSar hotel in St Pete Beach, Florida. Bride wearing Nicole Miller wedding dress, bouquet by FH Weddings & Events in Tampa, Florida. Bride wearing Nicole Miller wedding dress. Bouquet by FH Weddings in Tampa Florida. Photography by Blue Lane Studios in Tampa Florida. Hair and makeup by Beverly of Spa Oceana at the Don CeSar.  Groom's suit by Calvin Klein. Bride wearing Nicole Miller wedding dress and bouquet by FH Weddings in Tampa Florida. Photography by Blue Lane Studios in Tampa Florida. Bride and groom portraits at the Don CeSar resort in St Pete Beach by Blue Lane Studios. Bridal party photos at the Don CeSar by Tampa wedding photographers Blue Lane Studios. Unique photo of the Don CeSar reflected in the tidal pools on St Pete Beach.  Wedding on the North Beach at Don CeSar. Photography by Blue Lane Studios.Flip flops for wedding guests as they attend a beach ceremony at the Don CeSar in St Pete Beach, Florida. Bride walking with her father to get married on the North Beach at the Don CeSar hotel in St Pete Beach, Florida. Wedding ceremony on the North Beach at the Don CeSar hotel in St Pete Beach, Florida
Just married!Dramatic bride and groom portrait at the Don CeSar hotel in St Pete Beach, Florida.  Wedding photography by Blue Lane Studios. Bride and groom portraits at the Don CeSar by Blue Lane Studios, wedding photographers based in Tampa, Florida. Bride and groom portraits at the Don CeSar by Blue Lane Studios, wedding photographers based in Tampa, Florida. Bride and groom sunset portraits with the Don CeSar in the background. Lit softly with low power off camera flash. Courtyard at dusk at the Don CeSar hotel in St Pete Beach.

 

Venue & Catering: The Don CeSar Hotel

Officiant:  Grace Felice, A Wedding With Grace

Videographer: Chuck Lewis, Hearts Video 

Hair and Makeup: Beverly of Spa Oceana at the Don CeSar

Florist: FH Weddings & Events

DJ: Jeff Staples

Bride’s Dress: Nicole Miller

Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo

Groom’s Suit: Calvin Klein

Amanda and Jim came down to Florida from Boston for their engagement session recently, and we had so much fun walking around downtown Dunedin just talking and getting to know each other.  (Oh, and taking photos, of course!)  😉  They are planning their destination wedding for this Fall at the Museum of Fine Arts in St Pete, and we know it’s going to be AMAZING!

Congrats, you two!!  We are so happy for you and can’t wait to see you again in just a few months!

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Lisa and Robert’s story touched me to my core.  Theirs is a story of love, hope, patience, and home.  After delaying their marriage for a couple years so they could adopt a boy from Haiti (Haitian law requires one to be single or to have been married 5 years to adopt….they opted for Robert to adopt their third son as a single man before getting married), they decided to wait just a little bit longer so that they could get married in the home they had started building.  (Can you imagine having that kind of love and patience!  All three of their sons are so lucky to have them as parents!)  Of course, there were delays in the home building and the months stretched on far past the originally planned finish date.  But then…finally…they had a closing date.  Once they received that long-awaited news, they set the wedding date!

With only about a month to plan their wedding, they quickly spread the word to their friends, hired their vendors, put the finishing touches on their new home, and pulled together a beautiful and elegant affair that touched the hearts of everyone who attended.  Not only was it a celebration of their newly finished house, but a rejoicing of their newly completed family.

Congratulations, Lisa & Robert!  It was such a joy to meet you both and be a part of your amazing day!!  Wishing you and your beautiful family a lifetime of love and happiness together!

 

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Jennifer and Ashley are planning their destination wedding for this summer in Playa del Carmen, Mexico….ummmm, AWESOME!  We were so excited that they came to us for their engagement photos here in Tampa!  These two are just so sweet together, and we had a great time walking around Davis Island and then down by the Tampa Theatre after the sun set.   We asked them before their session what they love most about each other, and we just had to share their answers:

Jennifer says:  “Ashley is such a southern gentleman. He is incredibly smart, thoughtful, charming and not bad to look at either :) I’ve never been so proud of another person in my life. He challenges me to be a better version of myself and we can always laugh at the silliest things together.”
Ashley says:  “Tough to even begin this. Jennifer is the total package. She is caring, hard working, loving, gorgeous, athletic, & social…”

Congratulations, you guys!!  We are so happy for you and can’t wait to hear all about your epic wedding in Mexico!

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Davis Islands engagement photo shoot

Florida-Engagement-Photographer-0002 Davis Islands Yacht Club engagement session Picnic blanket engagement session Engagement photos on Davis Islands, Tampa, FL Black and white engagement photo with Tampa skyline in background Groom and bride portraits with Tampa skyline in background Walking along dock by Davis Islands Yacht club, engagement photos by Blue Lane Studios Sunset engagement photos on a dock by Davis Islands Yacht Club, sailboats in the background Super cute nautical engagement session, couple standing on dock with sailboats in background.  By Blue Lane Studios in Tampa, FloridaTampa-lifestyle-wedding-photography Sunset silhouette engagement session on Davis Islands by Blue Lane Studios. Florida natural beach engagement session, couple walking along beach on Davis Islands Playful engagement session on beach at Davis Islands by Blue Lane Studios Closeup of hands with engagement ring Tampa engagement photo shoot by Blue Lane StudiosLifestyle engagement photo session in Tampa, Florida by Blue Lane Studios. Night engagement photos at the Tampa Theatre by Blue Lane Studios Night time engagement session in downtown Tampa in front of the Tampa Theatre.  By Blue Lane Studios.

 

P.S.  Sending a huge thank you to my sweet hubby, David, for helping me carry my gear and holding reflectors during this shoot!  xoxo  :)

We were recently asked by the folks over at Paperless Post to chime in with our opinion on creating the perfect save the date photo.  If you haven’t heard of Paperless Post before, they are a great solution for sending out just about any kind of card, including wedding invitations and save the dates.  (I, Shem, used one of their online options for my own wedding save the dates and it worked like a dream!)  Whether you choose an online card or go with the more traditional paper option, you’re sure to find yourself wondering: how do I create the perfect photo for my save the date card??  This is such a great topic, and we wanted to share a few ideas and tips with all our readers!

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So you’re engaged, you’ve set your wedding date and chosen your venue, and now it’s time to start letting all your guests know when they should expect to attend your big celebration!  We have a few ideas to get your creativity flowing and your guests marking their calendars!

First Things First: Choose Your Photographer!

While it may be tempting to choose your photographer based purely on budget, or because your cousin used so-and-so for her wedding, it’s so important to find an engagement photographer (who will also most likely be your wedding photographer) whose work reflects your style as a couple.  Find someone you can relate to, laugh with, and be yourselves in front of.  This is KEY.  If you can’t be yourselves, it will show in your photographs!

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Choose Your Location

It’s true what they say….location, location, location!  You might want a simple closeup of the two of you, but what if you wanted to show more of your surroundings?  This important decision can make or break your photos!  Here are a few ideas for where you could go for photos:

Show Off Your Venue

Are you getting married in a gorgeous old hotel or iconic historic building?  Why not incorporate your wedding location into your save the dates to give your guests a little preview of what they can expect!

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 Incorporate Your Hobbies

What are you known for as a couple?  Do your friends know you as the couple that tries new recipes and loves to cook together, that enters every triathlon, that wouldn’t miss a Saturday at the farmer’s market, that rides their scooters around town, that loves to try new wines whenever possible or that has been bitten by the travel bug?  While you might not want a literal depiction of your hobby on your save the date, a nod to your interests is a fun way to show your personalities to your friends and family!

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 Celebrate Your City

Whether you grew up there or you’re a transplant, the city you call home with your sweetheart holds a special place in your hearts because it’s part of who you are as a couple!  Staging your photos around a local icon or recognizable feature is a great idea, especially when a lot of your guests might be coming in from out of town.  It’s a fun way to say, “This is our home and we can’t wait to welcome you!”

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 Head For The Country (Or Your Nearest Park)

There’s nothing quite like the peace and solitude of an unspoiled natural setting.  Trees and landscapes make great backdrops for photos, and when the light is juuuust right, it can be truly magical!  If you’re a couple that loves the outdoors and wants to keep it simple, you’ll find that even near a big city there can be pockets of nature that will inspire the romantic in you!  Here in Florida we have plenty of beaches and gorgeous trees…but if we had mountains, I’d definitely be heading that way, too!

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A word of caution: it’s easy to go Pinterest-crazy, jumping from idea to adorable idea and wanting to do it all!  But really…if you’ve never been in a rowboat, don’t spend time together on the water, and in fact you hate being out on the water, then it makes no sense to plan a rowboat engagement shoot.  Just sayin’.  😉  But if you love cooking together, or riding bikes, or spending time outdoors…whatever your thing is….embrace it!!   The most important thing is to make sure your surroundings make sense for you as a couple!

Props

There are so many fun ways to announce your wedding, it can be overwhelming to try and pick your favorite!  Signs and props are a cute way to get your message across, but try to keep it simple.  Too many words on a sign, small or elaborate lettering or too many props can backfire.  (Who’s going to carry those 50 balloons, 100 sparklers, picnic blanket, and giant foam finger across the city park and hold them while you’re trying to reapply your lipstick?)  😛

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Pets

If you and your sweetheart have a furry kid that means just as much in your relationship as you do to each other, then you might want to consider bringing your pet along for a few photos, too!  More and more couples are bringing their pets along to their engagement sessions, which we think is super fun!  (You’ll just want to make sure you have an extra pair of helping hands to take your pup home once their part of the shoot is done.)

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Choose Your Clothing

First and foremost, wear something that you’re comfortable in and is YOU!  Don’t buy an entirely new outfit the night before you take your photos, unless you have a backup option.  Wear something you feel good in and compliments your features.  We never…ever….think it looks good to wear the exact same thing.  You and your partner most likely don’t go through life wearing identical clothing, so why would you want to do that in photos?  Wear color coordinated clothing in a similar style: formal wear with formal, casual with casual, etc.  Don’t be afraid of layers, colors and accessories!

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Be Daring

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to your save the date photo!  It doesn’t have to be a picture of the two of you looking right at the camera.  Run down the beach, jump in the lake, look for a unique angle or something interesting going on around you.  The possibilities are endless!

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Choose Your Design

Depending on the design you choose, you might need to make sure you have plenty of negative space in your image.  (In art terms, negative space is the empty or open space around an object.)  If you wanted to place your text and image all on one side of the card, you’ll need negative space over which you’ll place your text.  That way nothing will be covering your faces!  When you take your photos, be sure to get a good mix of nice, closeup shots and wide open shots that leave space for your design elements.  Covering your bases and getting a wide variety of shots during your engagement session means less stress later when you’re picking out your favorites for your save the date cards.

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Relax, Have Fun & Don’t Stress It

In the end, the most important thing is the two of you and your love for each other!  Don’t stress about your photos…just relax, have a blast, cuddle, kiss & remember why you’re taking these photos in the first place!  If you’re having a good time, it will show in your photos.  Your guests will love any photo you choose to send them, so pick the one that makes you smile every time you see it.  We guarantee it will make them smile, too!

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It might be April 1st, but no joke…Dana & Tyler’s wedding just a couple weeks ago was amazing!!  Congratulations, Mr & Mrs Bannon!!  We are so excited to share these images from your wedding day!

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Since they had booked their wedding online after phone conversations, we met Jenny and John for the first time in person at their engagement session at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales.  (Well, first we passed each other at the garden’s visitor’s center not knowing who each other was, but then we found each other about 20 min later for proper introductions and all was good!)  What struck us the most about this super awesome couple was their laughter!  Their smiles didn’t fade once during their whole session…..their happiness was contagious!  It’s so apparent that they love spending time with each other and they make each other SO happy.  :)  Seriously, how cute is Jenny!?  I love her laugh!  And the way John looks at Jenny is so loving and sweet, it’s no wonder he stole her heart!

We started off in the orange grove at Pinewood Estate and then made our way to a gorgeous field with an amazing sunset view, Bok Tower in the background.  What a perfect way to end our photo shoot!  We can’t wait to return there to make more memories with Jenny and John on their wedding day this October.  Congratulations, you guys!!

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Cute wooden sign with wedding date and hearts, from Etsy Bok Tower engagement session in the orange grove at Pinewood Estate Pinewood Estate engagement session in the orange grove at Bok Tower Gardens Pinewood Estate engagement session at Bok Tower Gardens by Blue Lane Studios Pinewood Estate engagement session Wooden wedding date sign from Etsy, engagement photos at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales by Blue Lane Studios Engagement photo shoot at Bok Tower Gardens, Pinewood Estate engagement session Engagement photos in orange grove at Pinewood Estate at Bok Tower Gardens Cute engagement session at Bok Tower Gardens Bok-Tower-Engagement-Photography_0011 Bok-Tower-Engagement-Photography_0012 Bok-Tower-Engagement-Photography_0013 Bok-Tower-Engagement-Photography_0014 Bok-Tower-Engagement-Photography_0015 Super cute engagement session at Bok Tower Gardens, jeans and blue sweater and brown boots engagement outfits.  Pinewood Estate engagement photo shoot at Bok Tower Gardens by Blue Lane Studios.  Engagement photo shoot at Pinewood Estate in Lake Wales Bok-Tower-Engagement-Photography_0019 Bok Tower engagement photography at Pinewood Estate Pinewood Estate engagement photo shoot, Bok Tower wedding photographer, Lake Wales wedding photographer, Central Florida wedding photographer Bok-Tower-Engagement-Photography_0022 Bok-Tower-Engagement-Photography_0023 Gorgeous afternoon light at Pinewood Estate during Jenny and John's engagement session.  Bok Tower Gardens engagement photo shoot Romantic Bok Tower engagement session Pinewood estate photo shoot, engagement photos by Blue Lane Studios Bok Tower Gardens property at sunset Grassy field engagement session at Bok Tower Gardens near sunset Sitting in a grassy field at Bok Tower Gardens near sunset, engagement session in Lake Wales, Florida Bok-Tower-Engagement-Photography_0030 Bok Tower sunset engagement session, photo shoot in Lake Wales by Blue Lane Studios, Florida wedding photographers Walking at sunset at Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales engagement photos Gorgeous sunset at Bok Tower in Lake Wales Bok Tower sunset silhouette engagement session Gorgeous sunset at Bok Tower Gardens, engagement session in Lake Wales Bok-Tower-Engagement-Photography_0036 Engagement session in a grassy field in Lake Wales, central Florida Sunset engagement session with Blue Lane Studios Bride and groom engagement portraits Sunset silhouette by Tampa wedding photographers Blue Lane StudiosSunset engagement session at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida, by Blue Lane Studios. Night off camera flash engagement portraits.

I’m still in awe of how stunning Amira is…what a gorgeous bride!  I’m so happy for her and Danny, and we are so excited to share this tiny glimpse of their beautiful wedding day!

Gorgeous portrait of a bride with the glow of window light. Photo by Blue Lane Studios in Tampa Florida

Bride and groom's portrait at Our Lady of Perpetual Help church in Ybor City, Tampa, Florida.

In honor of Jen and Brian’s big day coming up this Saturday (CONGRATS, YOU TWO!!!) we wanted to show off how completely adorable they are together and share some images from their engagement session earlier this year!   Seriously….how cute are they!?  We wish we looked this great paddle boarding!!  😉

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Red dress with plaid shirt engagement session in Tampa Florida

Fun and colorful engagement session wearing red dress and plaid shirt, Davis Island engagement session

Mint green and yellow bicycle engagement session by Blue Lane Studios in Tampa, Florida

Tampa skyline engagement session, mint green and yellow bicycle

Bicycle engagement photo shoot in Tampa, FL by Blue Lane Studios

Mint green blue and yellow bicycle engagement session, brown boots and turquoise dress

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Paddle boarding engagement photo shoot on Davis Islands, Tampa skyline at sunset paddleboarding

SUP engagement session, stand up paddle board photo shoot in Tampa by Blue Lane Studios

Engagement photo shoot stand up paddle boarding at sunset on Davis Island by Blue Lane Studios in Tampa Florida

Adventure engagement session in Tampa, adventurous couple loves to paddle board and decided to SUP for their engagement session

Tampa engagement photography stand up paddle boarding on Davis Island by Blue Lane Studios

Romantic beach engagement session by Blue Lane Studios in Tampa, Florida

Blue and green beach engagement session by Blue Lane Studios in Tampa, Florida

Sunset engagement photos by Blue Lane Studios in Tampa Florida on Davis Island